Being advised heavily against a MBA - is it THAT bad?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by munckee, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Let me preface...I've been thinking about this pretty carefully. It would a 2nd computer for me for travel, sofa-surfing, etc. I need it primarily for web use, but would like it to handle some light photoshop/illustrator work.

    My primary machine for the last six months has been a 1.5CS Mini, so the MBA should be faster than that regardless. While the mini is slow and I know I wouldn't want the MBA as a primary machine, it will be matched with a 2.4Ghz iMac with 4GB of ram. I figure as a secondary machine the air would be a perfect compliment to the iMac giving me enough power at home and portability for the road.

    However, I just borrowed my boss' MBA to play with and as soon as I mentioned I was considering one, he launched into a tirade about how horrible it was once he got it loaded up with some apps, etc. Said it's too slow to handle much of anything. How are others' experience with this? Is it really too slow to handle viewing of heavy flash sites, etc, or is he over-reacting? (His may have the core shutdown issue without him realizing it...
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Version 2 of the Air should be out in a week or two. I'd sit tight and wait to see how those are reviewed!
  3. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks, but I'm shooting for an ebay 1st gen. The 2nd gen at full price is WAY more than I'm willing to pay for it.
  4. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    My macbook air 1.8 SSD is about the speed of my mac mini 1.8? dual.

    long story short. Don't expect much more then a slight bump. if you are happy with that. the the MBA is a winner.
  5. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    I say go for it! The 1st generation MBA is fine for what you've described. That's exactly how I use mine, and it compliments my Mac Pro 3.0. Sounds like your boss needed a MB or a MBP, so I can understand his being upset about his decision. Additionally, your boss seems to have fallen into the assumption that 80GB/64GB is easy to manage, when in fact it's not in the beginning. I would recommend deleting many of the files that you don't need, such as print drivers, different languages that you'll probably never use and most importantly, use an external hard drive to manage your iTunes music, video, applications, and large files, that way you won't bog down your computer. I constantly work with Quicktime Pro, Final Cut Pro HD, Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS and do a lot of video editing on my MBA during the week, so it's important that I take all my projects off my MBA and store them on my external hard drive or on a 4GB-8GB jump drive. It really gets down to you managing your available hard drive space, using your remote disc, and transferring your large files to an external hard drive or jump drive.

    My MBA has never experienced a core shutdown, nor have I experienced the fans running all the time at high speeds. I think when I updated my Microsoft Office: Mac 2008, recently, this was the first time that I noticed a really high temperature of 176 degrees F and fans at 6400 rpms, but everything returned to the normal range of heat and fan speed. You can monitor your temp and fan speed with iStats or smcFanControl.

    Don't be afraid to check out the Apple Refurbs as well...:cool:
  6. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Mine's fine. Not great on "heavy flash sites" like YouTube, but it works fine. I wouldn't recommend it for someone who watches YouTube nonstop all day, but it's no problem if you only watch the occasional 5-10 minute clip.

    It's fine for photoshop and other basic apps. I've even run Garageband and iMovie on it.

    Once you realize that you can't just dump everything you have on the HD, HD space is fine too. Don't put your entire iTunes library and all your videos on there, you'll have plenty of space.
  7. urbnsoul macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    I'm currently using the 1.8/64gb ssd model of the MacBook Air and it's more than enough for me (I'm a college student). The applications I most frequently use are Circus Ponies Notebook, Flock, iTunes, Photoshop CS3, Illustrator at times and the occasional YouTube clip here and there.

    For what you described, the Air is more than enough for your needs. Not to mention it is really light.
  8. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    if the iPhone can handle youtube like a champ, I don't see why the macbook air should have any problems.

    I say make your own decision and evaluate the pros and cons. Don't listen to your boss, he just sounds like he doesn't want you to have a cool computer like him :p
  9. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    I watch Hulu pretty regularly. How does it stand up to a movie or an hour episode?
  10. six.four macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2008
    I have no problems playing a full episode of shows from hulu @ 480p. It does get warm after a while and fan kicks in, but it plays fine.

    Contrary to popular belief, my MBA also plays encoded 720p and 1080p x264 files just fine using VLC player without any stutters.
  11. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks. I had two 480p movies playing at once on his this morning with little stutter. But I didn't leave them running long enough to really heat up the machine and give it a chance to slow down.
  12. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Got mine for $1225 NEW on Ebay. No problems and I am very happy. I only recommend it if the Air is your second computer. It's a GREAT NetBook.
  13. Scott6666 macrumors 65816


    Feb 2, 2008
    Then listen to your boss. I don't think it was a slow as he says but with the heat and the fan gen 1 is a piece of cr*p.

    I returned it last March. Thank goodness they let me get an MBP instead (past 14 day return period).
  14. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks for the info everyone. I picked up a few month old 1st gen air on craigslist today for $1100 with applecare. Mint condition in original box with all the original accessories.

    Planning to pick up an iMac soon to compliment it. Figure I'll give it a try for a little while. If I don't like it, I'll toss it on ebay.
  15. Heavenkittykat macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2008
    well I won't lie I love my MBA to death but loading the applications might be a bit slow for some people. It is definitely NOT too slow but it's not blazing fast.
  16. Ironic macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2008
    In my MBA!
    I have two listed on another mac site for 1000.00 each thats with a 64ssd drive.
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    That's not the point of this thread. :rolleyes:

    Given what you've stated you would use it for the first gen should be ok for you. I understand there were heat issues that weren't experienced by all ... but by most. I wouldn't expect wonders from it, but you've listed your uses and it sounds ok. I'm hoping to do slightly more with the one I'm planning on buying next week.

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